During the Easter holidays, we were lucky enough to spend five days in the glorious city of Rome.
After reading the glowing reviews of Rosa Maria, I couldn’t wait to meet her. After arranging our transfer from the airport, as promised, she was waiting on the corner of the street to greet us. Full of smiles and cheer, she showed us into the apartment that was going to be our home for the next few days.
It contained everything we could have possibly needed for a comfortable stay, including a double bed, single bed for Lil’ L, dining table and chairs, and a bathroom with spacious shower cubicle.
But my favourite feature of the apartment had to be the kitchenette. When we first arrived I was looking around, searching for it. I knew the apartment had one as I’d seen it on the booking form, yet where was it?
Rosa Maria then pulled open the doors to the armoire and lo and behold, there it was! Hidden inside were storage cupboards filled with plates, cutlery and breakfast supplies, as well as a convection hot plate, sink, and fridge!
Before she left us, Rosa Maria also gave us a map, and talked through the key sights to visit. She even gave us a mobile phone in case we wanted to ask her anything, including help with booking tickets or planning our sight seeing itinerary.
Rosa Maria helped us above and beyond her duty as host, and our trip to Rome was even more special thanks to her.
As well as the apartment being better than I ever imagined, I also couldn’t believe how close it was to the centre of Rome. Just a short walk down the street, along the subway, and you arrived at Vatican City!
Our daily route into the historical quarter took us past some spectacular sights, including an old fort and a bridge filled with imposing statues and breathtaking views of the river.
We’d arrived in Rome just after the Easter weekend, which I imagine is one of the busiest times. Saying that, I’m not sure whether there’s ever a time when Rome isn’t busy. It’s a hugely popular visitor destination and the key sights are literally heaving with tourists.
Though I would have liked to have seen the Sistine Chapel, after reading the reviews on TripAdvisor which mentioned there’s no crowd control and you’re literally crammed in the chapel; I just didn’t fancy it. I’m sure all those hoardes of people snapping photos would detract from the specialness of the place.
Rather than paying to visit a packed Sistine Chapel, they were plenty of other stunning churches to visit. Free to enter, they were a haven of peace and tranquillity away from the hubbub of the city.
On our first evening in Rome, we happened to enter a church on Piazza Navona, just as a choir from Michigan (USA) began a free concert. It was a true joy to experience.
We visited most of the key sights, but we chose to view them from the outside rather than queuing and paying to see inside.
People were queuing round the block to enter the Colosseum and Forum, but the ‘free’ views were spectacular enough for me.
Obligatory selfie outside the Colosseum!
While the main tourist areas were heaving with people, it wasn’t hard to find areas away from the crowds, and I loved nothing more than meandering along the quieter side streets.
Wherever you look in Rome there are sights to behold. Beautiful buildings; Roman ruins; stunning statues; breathtaking views…
Even the door knockers are spectacular!
I loved all the lion imagery in Rome…
while similar to his hunt for Invader art in Paris, Lil’ L loved nothing more than hunting out interesting graffitti and ‘sticker bomb’ street art as we walked round the city.
It sure did keep him entertained! He must have taken a hundred photos and they came out so much better than I expected! Here’s a handful of my personal favourites…
He even spotted a vegan sticker on this road sign!
Sightseeing in Rome entails a lot of walking, so I was grateful for my sister’s tip about wearing comfy trainers (sneakers). Most of the streets are made of cobbles, so heels are definitely a no-no.
As we spent most of the day on our feet, it was really handy to have a rental apartment so central. After lunch, we would head back for a rest and a lovely cup of home-brewed coffee, before heading out again for the evening.
With the money we’d saved on entrance fees, we treated ourselves to eating out a lot more than we’d originally planned. There were so many vegan-friendly eateries that we couldn’t resist eating out for both lunch and dinner, as well as sampling lots of vegan ice cream! Rome is the most vegan-friendly city I’ve visited to date, and we had some amazing finds!
Stay tuned for my next post on our experiences of eating vegan in Rome!